News•June 27, 2012 12:34 PM ET•7,050 views
Zao co-founder returns with new band
Official press release: Jesse Smith, founding member of the seminal Christian metalcore band Zao, has returned from an eight year musical hiatus with a fresh new perspective and entirely new musical endeavor. Smith's new solo project, Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost, is a very personal project for Smith, who walked away from the band he founded in 2004 in order to deal with his struggles with addiction and remove himself from the negativity that plagued the band. "I had big time things I've had to deal with and get a grip on," Smith said. "It's easier to be angry and aggressive when you're younger." Instead, Smith let his emotions be his guide for his new self-titled release, and channeled them into a more modern-sounding version of classic rock. The music is distinctly different from what Smith has been known for and longtime fans might be surprised to hear Smith's latest offering. "I just love music," said Smith. "I am living in the now. If music is from the right place and from the heart, it is always legitimate." For the recording, Smith recruited longtime friend/musician/producer Matt Holmes. "I think people are going to connect to his openness," Holmes said. "There is a new level of confidence in him that is apparent in these tunes. I think longtime fans of his work are going to see a side of him they've never seen."
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